web analytics



This from the country show on Saturday. Whenever it’s on offer, I always pay a couple quid to hold a raptor (that’s me on the left). Homeboy settled down eventually and let Uncle B snap some better pics.

Hope you had a nice long weekend, full of all the red-tailed hawks you could possibly desire.


Comment from Deborah HH
Time: May 29, 2017, 10:30 pm

I love their feathery pantaloons. And to be sure—one should never pass up the chance to hold hands with a red-tailed hawk.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: May 29, 2017, 11:20 pm

Raptors hold a special place of joy and fascination in my heart. I’ve never had the opportunity to hold one, and I’d like to do that very much. I’m envious!

I’ve had the privilege of flying with quite a few of them back in my avid hang gliding days. I spent happy hours soaring the Tuscarora Ridge in Pennsylvania, part of the East Coast migratory route for many birds. It still gives me a little spine chill to think of looking beside me and seeing a hawk or eagle close by, even soaring with me under my wing (my glider was about 40 feet wingtip to wingtip). I’d sometimes see a regal bird soaring in the aerodynamic lift created by another hang glider nearby. It’s likely that happened to me occasionally, but the pilot can’t see that part of the sky while in the air without transparent wing panels which I didn’t like so didn’t have.

Although I don’t fly any more, here in Florida there are quite a few bald eagles in the region, and there’s a nest on the vacant 60 acres directly behind my house. Separating the properties is a medium-sized power line, and once or twice a week one of the eagles will perch on the top crossbar of the nearest pylon and “sing” to us. Unlike the screeeee of a lot of other raptors, eagles have a high-pitched squeaky chirping voice quite unlike anything else.

Last summer while walking in a local neighborhood park, I spotted a large bird sitting on the fence surrounding a pond. I strolled casually to get closer and to my surprise I got to within 30 feet or so of a most impressive red-shouldered hawk. We looked warily at each other for several minutes before she (it was probably a female) took off to take a closer look at a platoon of ibises looking for food on the pond bank.

Much fun and enjoyment!

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: May 29, 2017, 11:41 pm

What’s stopping him from biting your nose off?

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: May 30, 2017, 10:14 am

Lousy rating widget won’t let me uptick Uncle Al’s post.

And, Ric Fan? Fear. Weasels are even deadlier than hawks. Trust me on this.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: May 30, 2017, 10:57 am

Da-uhm Uncle Al – 100 envy points!
We have red tails a plenty, and I always pause to watch them soar overhead (ask Mrs. durned how she feels about that if we’re out on I-35 when it happens).

Comment from RushBabe
Time: May 30, 2017, 1:50 pm

O/T, but Formerly known as Skeptic wins the Dead Pool with “Pineapple Face” Noriega!

Comment from dissent
Time: May 30, 2017, 2:38 pm

Si, Manuel ha comprado la finca!!

Congrats Formerly Skeptic!

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: May 30, 2017, 4:13 pm

Noriego still managed to live to 83. Not bad.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: May 30, 2017, 4:20 pm

A lot of the IRA crap is coming back to haunt Corbyn but not haunt him enough. He’s despicable. How anyone can vote Labour is a mystery. A number of USA loser celebs are also speaking up for the commie. Glad they exposed themselves. Creepy Rob Delaney has even joined the socialist party. What a moron!

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: May 30, 2017, 8:19 pm

I love hawks. They are so beautiful, but so fearsome.

Uncle B – that is a fabulous photograph.

As to the question ‘What’s to keep a Hawk from biting a Weasel’s nose off?’

The answer is ‘ Professional Courtesy’.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: May 30, 2017, 8:36 pm

Uncle Al – you reminded me of the only poem my non-poetic father had framed and hung at the house – I remember being about 25 when I found out the man thought it would be wonderful to ride a rocket into orbit, because you’d have never known it, so much he kept to himself – so to his memorial day memory (USS Pamanset AO-85 1944-1946), and John Gillespie Magee, Jr, and your sailing with the hawks –

High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air… .

Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

— Plt Off John Gillespie Magee, Jr RCAF

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 30, 2017, 9:04 pm

A really excellent question, Ric Fan. Best advice is don’t get your face that close to a chicken or a crow — I had an auntie who lost an eye to a pet crow.

So I was a bit shocked when Raptor Man suggested I get up close to the hawk and stroke his chest for a photo op. And then he demonstrated. I guess those with curved beaks aren’t really peckers, if you know what I mean.

Durned Yankee — I love High Flight. It was the signoff of a local (?) TV station, so I always associate it with being up wickedly late – and the jet footage that went with.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: May 30, 2017, 10:25 pm

Stoaty: My neighbor lost the tip of her nose to a desert tortoise. She had it for 30 years. She was sun bathing and he crawled up, slowly, and bit her. I guess it’s her fault for letting it get so close. Dont turtles have curbed beaks? Anyway, cant fault an animal for acting like an animal.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: May 31, 2017, 1:37 am

curved not curbed. lol

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: May 31, 2017, 2:47 am

Thanks for the thumbs! I was simply lucky but had the good sense to realize it and enjoy it.

Lovely poem durnedyankee. Thanks!

Comment from lauraw
Time: May 31, 2017, 8:24 pm

Just gonna drop this here because it seemed really stoatish, as articles go.

Comment from AliceH
Time: May 31, 2017, 9:43 pm

Ric fan: At first read “She had it for 30 years”, I thought “it” referred to her nose. (-:

Comment from AliceH
Time: May 31, 2017, 9:51 pm

Lauraw – fantastic find! Really enjoyed it.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: June 1, 2017, 1:43 am

Likewise, AliceH. Thanks hugely lauraw – fascinating article.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: June 1, 2017, 11:13 am

Thanks Lauraw! That is a cool article!
Reminds me, camouflage wise, of this one on Swiss fortifications
(for those interested they may still be selling off bunkers, they were last year).

Write a comment

(as if I cared)

(yeah. I'm going to write)

(oooo! you have a website?)

Beware: more than one link in a comment is apt to earn you a trip to the spam filter, where you will remain -- cold, frightened and alone -- until I remember to clean the trap. But, hey, without Akismet, we'd be up to our asses in...well, ass porn, mostly.

<< carry me back to ol' virginny